Monthly Archives: July 2013

Weekly News Update 25 July 2013

Ali Abulohoom/Yemen Times/http://www.yementimes.com/en/1697/report/2669/Street-vendor-by-day-prize-winning-international-weight-lifter-by-night.htm

Ali Abulohoom/Yemen Times/http://www.yementimes.com/en/1697/report/2669/Street-vendor-by-day-prize-winning-international-weight-lifter-by-night.htm

Highlights:
How Yemen Chewed Itself Dry
Foreign Affairs — 23 July 2013
As policymakers butt heads over the best course for Yemen, the dwindling water supply is already leading to instability: according to Al-Thawra, one of the country’s leading newspapers, 70 to 80 percent of conflicts in Yemen’s rural regions are water-related. And across the country, Yemen’s Interior Ministry estimates, water- and land-related disputes result in about 4,000 deaths each year — 35 times the number of casualties in the deadliest al Qaeda attack in the county’s history.

Yemen’s youth and the fight against corruption
La Voix du Yemen — 22 July 2013
A recent survey by Transparency International seems to confirm this feeling as 56 percent of respondents said the level of corruption in Yemen has increased over the past two years. YTB documents and watches corruption cases especially in governmental apparatuses. Last month, they sued the administration of the Field Hospital, a medical NGO that used to provide medical care for the injured protesters in Change Square in Sana’a during the 2011 uprising, for looting medical equipment and ambulance vehicles that were given to the hospital, and disappeared when the facility closed down.

Voice of Yemen’s hungry poor struggles to be heard in peace dialogue
Financial Times — 24 July 2013
But the country’s poor – over half Yemen’s 25m people – are largely disconnected from the talks. Like Fatima’s parents, they are more concerned with finding food to put on the table. In a survey conducted by the Sana’a-based Yemen Polling Centre in 2012, some 54.3 per cent of interviewees said that their biggest concern was the economy. A July report by the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the body that oversees humanitarian requirements in Yemen on behalf of the UN, found that although rising volumes of aid were reaching the country the humanitarian situation had remained largely unchanged since reaching crisis levels 2011 and 2012. Some 10.5m people do not have enough food to eat, while 1m children are suffering from acute malnutrition, according to OCHA. Continue reading

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Weekly News Update 19 July 2013

morsi

Yemen Times

Highlights:
Al Qaeda in Yemen: On the ropes
CNN — 18 July 2013
A Yemeni tribal leader close to AQAP says the drone strikes have sown mistrust within the group, where there is “a feeling that the Americans have infiltrated its ranks, especially with the killing of several of its leaders.” And despite its focus on attacking U.S. targets, AQAP has not tried to attack one since its October 2010 attempt to plant bombs hidden in printer cartridges on cargo planes destined for the United States. (Last year AQAP plotted to send an operative with explosives in his underwear aboard a plane bound for the United States, but that operative was actually secretly working for the British and Saudi intelligence services, so the plot was never a real threat.)

Watching Cairo from Sanaa
Foreign Policy — 12 July 2013
For a few brief days, there was talk about building a Yemeni Tamarod (or rebels, as the Cairo protestors called themselves). There were unofficial discussions between activists from across the political spectrum; the date for massive protests aimed at “correcting the course of the revolution” was tentatively set for July 7. Even at the speculative stage, though, disagreements about everything from demands to acceptable protest slogans foreshadowed that things would eventually come to naught. July 7 came and went with only street protests in the south, as secessionists marked the anniversary of their defeat in Yemen’s 1994 civil war. The closest thing I witnessed to an outburst of discontent came a few days prior. Driving with a friend past the home of Yemen’s embattled prime minister, Mohamed Basindowa, he rolled down his car window, stopped briefly, and shouted “Leave, Uncle Mohamed!”

Yemen Divided Over Egypt
Al-Monitor — 12 July 2013
Lately, the Egyptian crisis has rippled into Yemen, and has been addressed by the official rhetoric of the elite, public, activists and partisans. The discussion can be heard everywhere — cabs, buses and nightly Ramadan gatherings. Seculars and liberals gloated over the Muslim Brotherhood’s loss, provoking responses from Yemen’s Brotherhood. Yemen’s own issues — regardless of how delicate they may be — were rarely discussed in comparison with Egypt’s. This was further highlighted when Sanaa barely spoke of an important event commemorated by the South Yemen Movement, the July 7 anniversary of the 1994 civil war against the south. Usually this event attracts media attention, but this time, Egypt stole the limelight.

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Weekly News Update 12 July 2013

Small & Micro Enterprise Promotion Service/ via Yemen Times/http://www.yementimes.com/en/1693/culture/2603/Handcrafts-alive-in-Yemen.htm

Small & Micro Enterprise Promotion Service/ via Yemen Times/http://www.yementimes.com/en/1693/culture/2603/Handcrafts-alive-in-Yemen.htm

Highlights:
Exaggerated hopes for Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference?
IRIN — 10 July 2013
The latest humanitarian bulletin published this week by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that “although the National Dialogue is key to ultimately resolving the crisis, it also runs a real risk of overshadowing the immediate need to maintain effective humanitarian assistance for the rest of 2013.”  While regional NDC fact-finding meetings seem to have been appreciated by Yemenis, including those displaced by fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels in the north, cynicism is rife regarding the ability of the NDC to find a solution to people’s basic needs. But in other quarters, the NDC is sometimes seen as a magic bullet that can end the conflict, insecurity and lack of basic development.

Yemen’s National Dialogue Paralyzes Government
Al-Monitor — 10 July 2013
More than 30 Members of Paliament, (MPs) of different political parties are taking part in the national dialogue that requires, according to its bylaw, full devotion to its agenda, something that makes the dialogue mission impossible to achieve given the specified timeframe. The mission is supposed to be realized within six months, half of which has already passed. Clearly, none of them could balance attending parliamentary sessions and the dialogue. Thus, parliament paid the price with the absence of more than 30 MPs, 10% of parliament. The paralysis of the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen not only affected parliament, but its repercussions also reached the executive authority. Many prominent ministers in the current transitional cabinet are also members of the national dialogue, including the ministers of foreign affairs, industry, tourism and communications. Consequently, their ministries and institutions are suffering greatly in their absence.

Can this Facebook clone become the biggest social network in Yemen?
Wamda — 9 July 2013
They’ve customized elements to specifically serve the Yemeni ecosystem. In addition to a customized Arabic interface, two features make SocialPalz unique. The first is a categories section, where all posts are categorized according to selected topics. While Facebook’s Graph Search allows users to conduct very advanced searches to find information, so advanced that it’s been called “scary good.” But for Yemen’s audience, which is just coming online, the founders reason, clickable categories like Sports, News, Politics, Economy, Technology, and Entrepreneurship are easier to use. In a sense, they bridge the gap from old-school discussion forum to social network. Hopefully, Alfagieh will later work on updating the platform to keep up with how savvy the community becomes. The second feature is a job posting board, which users can reach by selecting the “Jobs” category, which filters their newsfeed to reveal potential jobs posted by other users. This is very important to Yemeni youth, as unemployment rates are high in the country, and across the region. Continue reading

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Weekly News Update 5 July 2013

Highlights:
Viability of Yemen’s New Political Parties Questioned
Al-Monitor — 3 July 2013
According to the new regulations, the approval of security authorities for granting party licenses has been canceled. This contributed to the proliferation of new parties or new party projects. These parties lack institutional structures — minimal requirements and tools for a party — as well as the necessary popular base and media organizations to represent them. They are also — collectively or individually — unable to exert pressure in the defense of public issues, since 14 parties could not defend their right to representation in the NDC. However, the Rashad Union Party and the Justice and Construction Party did have these qualifiers: the first has a wide popular base and experience in community service and public mobilization through religious advocacy, and controls a number of mosques, charities and Quran teaching schools, while the second has a leadership with a relatively rich political history since it was part of the former ruling party.

Funding shortfalls hit Yemen humanitarian work
IRIN News — 4 July 2013
At the halfway point of the year, less than 40 percent of Yemen’s requested US$702 million Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) has reached aid groups, signalling a potential repeat of last year’s shortfall in which donors funded 56 percent of a $585 million budget appeal. The 190 relief projects outlined in this year’s YHRP represent a threefold expansion in humanitarian programming since 2011, when Arab Spring-inspired uprisings pushed 32-year president Ali Abdullah Saleh from office and eventually put the country on a two-year political reform process, scheduled to culminate in national elections in early 2014. But donor pledges have not kept pace with expanding NGO coverage and demands for bigger budgets – a development which is forcing aid groups to scale back or close down projects.

New Report Documents the Human Cost of U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen
Rolling Stone — 3 July 2013
There are more than 80 names at the end of a human rights report published online this week. Each one is said to belong to a civilian killed or maimed as a result of U.S. missile strikes in Yemen since 2009. They were mothers, fathers, children and grandparents – and they stand in contrast to claims that the United States does not launch missiles into Yemen unless there is a “near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” as President Obama told the nation in May. The names are preceded by 25 pages of detailed descriptions of U.S. airstrikes in Yemen and their consequences, offering a rare level of information on specific attacks and their physical, psychological and financial impacts on individual Yemeni civilians. Continue reading

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